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Friday, 5 August 2011

Number of bankruptcies in The Netherlands in 2011: nowhere near the level that could be expected in a genuine bull market.

The Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics presents the bankruptcy statistics over the first two quarters of 2010 vs 2011. In general, the figures were better than in the first two quarters of 2010, with an exception for Hotels & Restaurants and Business Services. Especially Hotels & Restaurants had a surge in bankruptcies:

Surge in bankruptcies in sector hotels and restaurants
In the first six months of this year, 3000 businesses and institutions (excluding one-man businesses) were declared bankrupt, a decline by7% relative to the same period last year. The number of company bankruptcies was reduced in nearly all sectors.
The sector hotels and restaurants constitutes an exception. The number of bankruptcies is no less than 42% higher than in the first six months of 2010. Small restaurants and pubs where no more than 10 people are employed mainly accounted for the increase.
The number of bankruptcies dropped most in the transport sector in the first six months of 2011; a reduction by nearly a quarter from one year previously. In the sectors manufacturing industry and construction, the number of bankruptcies was reduced by approximately 15%.
Corporate bankruptcies (excluding one-man businesses) by sector, first six months of 2010 and 2011
Bankruptcies per sector: Q1+Q2 2010 vs 2011
But there is more in the data then initially meets the eye. The great thing about statistics institutes is that they collect data over a longer period of time. And this data gives some great extra information (all data is courtesy of

Total corporate bankruptcies;
All pictures, lick to enlarge

This data proves crystal clear that we are currently far from having a bull market. The number of corporate bankruptcies in The Netherlands is much better than at the peak of the crisis. But the number is  still light-years away from the 750 companies per Quarter that went bankrupt at the peak of the dot-com bubble.
The remarkable thing about these statistics is that almost every industry has about the same pattern and in no industry, the level of bankruptcies is yet equal to the peak of the dot-com bubble:

Building and Construction;

Trade, retail and maintenance

Financial institutes, lease & rent, business services

Industry, mineral production, Utility companies

This data proves clearly that it is not only the European debt crisis that is holding back a possible bull market in The Netherlands. As far as it concerns corporate bankruptcies, there is room for big improvements too.

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